Book 2 of the de Granville Trilogy
by K.M. Grant
If this blog is indicative of anything, it's that I'm a glutton for punishment. After reading Blood Red Horse, I had to eventually land on its sequel, Green Jasper. The first book was a dragging, politically correct, saga mixing a horse story up with the Crusades. This didn't end well. In fact, it was pretty ridiculous. Green Jasper is little better in terms of character development, but Will is still a freakish Gary Stu, Hosanna is still the equine vision of perfection, and those that are not perfect are horribly flawed, consistently wrong, or EVIL.
Is it foolish to think that one boy and a blood red horse can save a fair maiden and the throne of England?While it is my opinion that K.M. Grant has some work to do, characterization wise, she does do two things that receive high praise from me in Green Jasper: her plot is less sprawling, and Will is forced to contain his perfection to a dungeon for the majority of this book. Therefore everything he did was not only perfect, it was rather pointless to spend my time on, so I could skim over him rather easily and get back to Gavin, who continues to be awesome.
Will and Gavin de Granville have come back from the crusade older, braver, and definitely wiser.
Ellie has been longing for their return. But they’ve changed. And home is almost as dangerous as the war they’ve just left.
The king is missing. The country is in turmoil. And some men would do anything for power. What will two brothers risk for the woman they both love and the king they have both sworn to protect and serve? In the second book of the de Granville trilogy, Will and Gavin find their family – and all of England – in serious peril.
It is Valentine's Day, 1193. Gavin and Ellie are going to get married, but there is underlying tension because Ellie doesn't really realize that she's in love with him and Gavin is convinced that she's in love with Will, and Will is too busy paying attention to his horse to realize that he's in love with Ellie. It's one of those evil love triangles in which you just want to slap them all. Actually, I want to slap Will all the time, which is why I was so happy to discover how long he spends in the aforementioned dungeon. Anyway, de Scabious, the evil guy from the first book, crashes the wedding and steals Ellie, ripping the tension open between the two brothers. Will wants to go after de Scabious immediately and Gavin wants to wait until they know for sure if Richard is dead or alive or what. The important thing to remember is that John is around, trying to convince the country that Richard is dead so he can be crowned king in his place.
Will, because he is thankfully sort of stupid in this book, although his stupidity is painted as perfection, irritatingly, decides to go after Ellie with his squire, completely underestimating de Scabious's position, and gets himself captured almost immediately. This is Will's one fault: impatience. It's really too bad it never got him killed. It really should have, looking back on it. Gavin stays back at the castle, waiting for his moment to be awesome while his brother wanders around in a prison cell and has these conversations with a little boy that was probably important, leading to his escape, only I obviously don't care about Will, so I ignored all of that.
Meanwhile, Kamil is back, bringing a letter to England from Richard, conveniently enough. Kamil eventually comes across Gavin, gives him the seal in exchange for Hosanna, and then they go rescue Ellie and Will, who at that point has managed to do something that was probably important, only obviously I was trying to ignore his presence. Gavin and Kamil simply walk right into de Scabious's lair, and eventually Ellie loses it and smacks de Scabious around, so he loses it and goes to stab her, and Gavin, because he's awesome, shoves her out of the way and is killed. Ellie kisses him before he dies and realizes she's in love with him right when Will, with his irritating perfection, rides in and saves the day. Blah blah blah. The book ends with Ellie telling Will she's going to Germany to deliver the ransom for the king with him, whether he likes it or not, and then she goes over to sit at Gavin's grave and tells it that Gavin has her faith, which she'll probably get over by the next book, when mutual perfection means she'll have to marry Will and bear his ridiculously perfect children.
So now that Gavin is dead, I am less than eager to move on to the last book of this trilogy, Blaze of Silver. I can only hope that Gavin's awesomeness transfers to Kamil, because Will and Hosanna, who continues to be everyone's equine Jesus, do not amuse me.